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25 Smallest Dog Breeds in the World (With Pictures)

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By Nicole Cosgrove

close up of chihuahua sitting outdoor

Small dogs tend to get a bad reputation, but many breeds can surprise skeptics with their quirky personalities and ability to learn quickly. They’re generally easier to handle than bigger dogs, which makes them great candidates for family dogs. If you’re interested in getting a small dog, there are a lot of breeds to choose from. Here are 25 of the smallest dog breeds in the world.



The 25 Smallest Dog Breeds in the World

1. Chihuahua

Chihuahua | Image credit: Piqsels
  • Weight: 4-6 lbs.

It may be the smallest dog breed in the world, but the Chihuahua’s personality is the size of a Great Dane. While they’re notorious for being overprotective, the Chihuahua is also playful, quirky, and highly intelligent.

2. Pomeranian

pomeranian smiling while walking
Image Credit: Purplehorse, Pixabay
  • Weight: 4.5-7.5 lbs.

The Pomeranian is a lively and energetic breed that has a bold, inquisitive nature. Once a status symbol of the wealthy, the Pomeranian still a popular dog breed around the world.

3. Maltese

Maltese puppy
Image Credit: PickPik
  • Weight: 6.5-8.8 lbs.

The Maltese dog is an outgoing and playful dog breed that is prized for its long, luxurious white hair. With its high intellect and bursts of energy, the Maltese excels at games surrounding obedience and athleticism.

4. Papillon

Tri-color Papillon
Image Credit: PickPik
  • Weight: 7.1-9.9 lbs.

One of the most recognizable breeds, the Papillon is famous for its butterfly wing-shaped ears. The name Papillon is French for butterfly, named for its unique look. This breed has tons of energy and excels at agility and obedience.

5. Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier
Image Credit: Pezibear, Pixabay
  • Weight: 4-12 lbs.

The Yorkshire Terrier is both loving and feisty, going from total snuggle-bug to protecting its favorite person. Though they may be small, the Yorkie will chase anything it wants with little to no fear.

6. Chinese Crested

chinese crested puppy
Image Credit: popovicmjeljica, Pixabay
  • Weight: 5-10 lbs.

The Chinese Crested dog is both elegant and athletic, with two varieties: powderpuff (with hair) and hairless. The Chinese Crested may be stubborn at times, but they’ll grow an inseparable bond with its favorite person.

7. Shih Tzu

Long Hair Shih Tzu
Image Credit: Needpix
  • Weight: 8-16 lbs.

With expressive eyes and a gorgeous double coat, the Shih Tzu was bred to be the ultimate lapdog. One of the oldest breeds in the world, the Shih Tzu prefers to snuggle with its favorite person over playing outside.

8. Bichon Frise

White Bichon Frise
Image Credit: Manfred Antranias Zimmer, Pixabay
  • Weight: 6.6-11 lbs.

The Bichon Frise is a happy-go-lucky dog that thrives on companionship more than anything else. With its puffy white coat and cheerful demeanor, the Bichon Frise is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world.

9. Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier
Image Credit: Needpix
  • Weight: 12-18 lbs.

Driven by its hunting and working instinct, the Jack Russell Terrier is tough like its bigger terrier cousins, with seemingly endless amounts of energy. Nothing gets by a Jack Russell if they can help it.

10. Boston Terrier

boston terrier
Image Credit: Gundula Vogel, Pixabay
  • Weight: 10-25 lbs.

The charming Boston Terrier is a loving companion perfect for apartment and small home living. With a friendly attitude and eagerness to play, the Boston Terrier is a great choice for first-time dog owners.

11. French Bulldog

Black and White French Bulldog
Image Credit: PeakPx
  • Weight: 16-28 lbs.

The French Bulldog is a goofy, enthusiastic breed that enjoys playtime as much as napping on the couch. Though the French Bulldog can be stubborn, it is a smart breed capable of learning through food-based training.

12. Miniature Pinscher

Miniature Pinscher
Image Credit: Dorena, pixabay
  • Weight: 7.7-11 lbs.

The Miniature Pinscher, also called the Min Pin, is a big dog stuck in a little body. Known for its energy and constant demand for attention, the Min Pin is a proud breed ready to take on the world.

13. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

cavalier king charles spaniel
Image Credit: Austin Kirk, Unsplash
  • Weight: 12-18 lbs.

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an adorable lapdog that thrives from daily interaction. As long as it gets enough exercise, the Cavalier is a well-mannered dog who aims to please its owner.

14. Pekingese

Image Credit: PxHere
  • Weight: 7-14 lbs.

Reserved and strongly independent, the Pekingese prefer to stay indoors and observe rather than play around. While it is not overly clingy, the Pekingese does have loyalty to its owner.

15. Japanese Chin

Japanese Chin Dog
Image Credit: GoranH, Pixabay
  • Weight: 3-16 lbs.

Often described as cat-like, the Japanese Chin is a lap dog that loves comfort and cuddles on the couch. With a gentle and sensible temperament, this breed adapts well to other house pets.

16. Löwchen

Image Credit: Pixabay
  • Weight: 9-18 lbs.

The Löwchen, also called the Little Lion Dog, is a family-oriented breed that is playful and great with children. This breed can do well in obedience competitions without the stubborn streak other small breeds have.

17. Toy Manchester Terrier

Manchester Toy Terrier
Image Credit: Olga Aniven, Shutterstock
  • Weight: 8-12 lbs.

Originally bred to hunt rodents, the Toy Manchester Terrier is lively and ready for adventure. With an eager and enthusiastic disposition, the Toy Manchester Terrier is great for active families.

18. Lhasa Apso

Long hair Lhasa Apso
Image Credit: Pixabay
  • Weight: 11-18 lbs.

The Lhasa Apso is a natural guardian of its homestead, wary of strangers and loyal to its owner. More dignified than other breeds, the Lhasa Apso is a proud but happy companion.

19. Italian Greyhound

Italian Greyhound
Image Credit: Alexandra Morrison Photo, Shutterstock
  • Weight: 7.5-11 lbs.

Playful and cuddly, the Italian Greyhound is as eager to run as it is to snuggle. Though it may be aloof with strangers, the Italian Greyhound is known for its polite disposition.

20. Tibetan Spaniel

Tibetan Spaniel
Image Credit: BIGANDT.COM, Shutterstock
  • Weight: 9-15 lbs.

The Tibetan Spaniel is a calm companion that will also take up the role of watchdog. Bred for work within the walls of monasteries, this breed known for its loyalty and intelligence.

21. Bolognese

White Bolognese dog
Image Credit: Needpix
  • Weight: 5.5-8.8 lbs.

Named after the city of Bologna in northern Italy, the Bolognese is a true lapdog and depends on affection. Smart and inquisitive, the Bolognese is always in tune with its surroundings.

22. Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzer standing on shore
Image Credit: ClarissaBell, Pixabay
  • Weight: 12-18 lbs.

The smallest of the Schnauzer varieties, the Miniature Schnauzer loves and needs its daily exercise. This breed has a wide range in temperament and personality, making each Mini Schnauzer truly unique.

23. Toy Poodle

toy poodle puppy
Image Credit: UIhere
  • Weight: 5-10 lbs.

Highly intelligent and quick to learn, the Toy Poodle is one of the most iconic dog breeds. Though it’s often thought of as dainty, the Toy Poodle has a tough build made for agility and competition.

24. Australian Silky Terrier

Australian Silky Terrier
Image Credit: Radomir Rezny, Shutterstock
  • Weight: 8-10 lbs.

An excellent watchdog with a good demeanor, the Australian Silky Terrier is polite with strangers and plays well with other dogs. With a strong hunting instinct, the Silky Terrier is enthusiastic and alert.

25. Cairn Terrier

cairn terrier
Image Credit: hazelw90, Pixabay
  • Weight: 13-18 lbs.

Known as the breed that played Toto in the Wizard of Oz, the Cairn Terrier is as spunky and confident as a terrier gets. With consistent training and plenty daily, the Cairn Terrier adapts well to its environment.


There you have it – some of the smallest dog breeds in the world. However, we also recommend this resource if you want to learn more about small breeds and their health concerns. This can come in handy if you decide to bring one of these cute little pups home!

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